Filling the seats
Nominations open in NWT election campaign

Glen Korstrom
Northern News Services

NNSL (Oct 25/99) - Nominations are now open for anybody who wants to take a run for a seat in the legislative assembly.

Chief electoral officer David Hamilton issued the writs to returning officers on Oct. 22 to start the official campaign period for the NWT election Dec. 6.

Those interested in running have until Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. to get 15 signatures to their returning officer.

There is a $200 deposit that is refundable if a candidate gets half the votes of the winning candidate.

The $200 is forfeited if a candidate withdraws or gets less than half the votes of the winning candidate.

In order to qualify as a candidate, a person must be at least 18 years old, have lived in the NWT for at least 12 months before election day and be a Canadian citizen.

Other than the deposit, there are no financial requirements. Having a criminal record has no bearing on eligibility.

"People who can't vote (or be candidates) include the chief electoral officer, each returning officer for each electoral district and every person who is imprisoned in a correctional institute serving a sentence of two years or more," said deputy chief electoral officer Glen McLean.

"If you go and murder somebody, serve 25 years and come out, you can run. But if you cheat and be corrupt and do an illegal practice under the Elections Act, you could be disqualified from being an elector for five to seven years."

McLean said the other thing that could disqualify someone from being a candidate is if he or she holds a job with the GNWT, either temporary or permanent.

"If you're on, say, a board that comes under the GNWT and you're paid, you can't run as a candidate unless you take a leave of absence or resign," he said.

"You also wouldn't be able to be a candidate if you are an Member of Parliament or a member of a legislative assembly outside the NWT."

McLean said there are some technical exceptions to the above regulations.

For example, sitting NWT MLAs are members until they are voted out of office and they are receiving money from the government but they are still able to run for office without taking a leave of absence or resigning.

Other people who are eligible to run even though they receive money from the GNWT include a justice of the peace, a coroner, a notary public and a commissioner of oaths.